January 26, 2015

Technology Trends: Cybersecurity

In 2014, we saw large retailers and private companies around the nation fall victim to cyber attacks. The breaches were varied, from J.P. Morgan to Target to Sony, and personal data has proven not to be as safe as previously thought. In response, the beginning of 2015 has seen several politicians, including President Obama, propose data security legislation meant to protect private citizens and businesses alike. This week’s articles outline some of those proposals and potential weak points in the suggested measures against digital hacking. 

Obama: ‘If We’re Going to be Connected, Then We Need to be Protected’ National Public Radio

President Obama would like more laws put in place for stronger data protection and cyber attack prevention. As more private information is exchanged over digital networks, Obama hopes to see improvements in the security of personal data used by retailers and school systems. However, some suggest that the federal government should be cautious of creating too many restrictions that may hinder businesses. 

5 Things to Know About Obama’s New Cybersecurity ProposalsMashable

The President briefly mentioned cybersecurity in last week’s State of the Union address, along with his call for net neutrality. Paired with this formal mention is a proposal, to be sent to Congress, calling for businesses’ transparency when it comes to system breaches and for tougher penalties against cybercriminals. Critics dislike the proposal because they say there are not enough preventative measures proposed. 

New York Attorney General Seeks Expanded Reports on Data Breaches The New York Times

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman proposed legislation that would mandate companies disclose to consumers if their private information has been stolen. Currently, businesses are required to report if information such as Social Security numbers or credit card information has been compromised. Schneiderman would like to see that expanded to emails and passwords, among other things. The attorney general hopes these regulations will have more teeth, providing better enforcement and protection.

No Country For Any Business: Imagining Britain Without EncryptionForbes

Earlier this month, British Prime Minister David Cameron proposed that the ban of encrypted technology in the United Kingdom. This would include not only applications like Snapchat and WhatsApp, but also communication tools that the government, banks, and corporations use. This article makes a case for the important role data encryption plays in the economy and illustrates how this future could look if the UK were to adopt such restrictions.